State of the Arts
9 ways to make art your second nature in Austin this April
Nature captivates this month, not just in blooming and bursting forth with color, but in many of the exhibits on display this April in Austin. “Green Eyes” at Northern-Southern takes inspiration from riverscapes and explosions of sunlight; Nola Parker paints landscapes on panels capturing the contrast between nature's beauty and danger; and the Wildflower Center shows us a short film exhibit called “a seed a deer a seed” about conservation, vegetation, and wildlife. For more of mother nature’s beguiling ways, visit installations at Zilker Botanical Gardens and Waterloo Park. The arts are buzz-worthy and flourishing this month in Austin.
“Green Eyes: Michelle Marchesseault” — Now through April 30
Michelle Marchesseault, a multidisciplinary artist and designer, began the work for “Green Eyes” in rural isolation in the Catskills during the pandemic. She finished the show in Austin, where she now lives. Marchesseault describes the pieces — abstract, semi-representational, and symbolic — as, “Twists and Riverscapes. Picnics in ancient places. Memories tumbled with magic. Vulnerable practices, explosions of sunlight. Change and comfort.”
“Nola Parker: Holding Space” — Now through April 30
Nola Parker is a self-taught landscape painter who lives and works in central Vermont. She paints landscapes on panels depicting scenes from Texas, Vermont, Colorado, and Massachusetts: landscapes both “stumbled upon and sought out from the past two years.” To Parker, the outdoors was always beautiful and a bit dangerous — a refuge but also a place of mystery. Her series The Neighborhood" depicts the manmade safety of our lives, while "The Wild" depicts the mystery of the undomesticated.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
“a seed a deer a seed” — Now through May 31
Marianne Hoffmeister Castro, a Chilean artist residing in the U.S. and this year’s St. Elmo Arts Fellow, examines the contemporary western world's representation of nature and animality. Her short film, “a seed a deer a seed,” shines a light on the Wildflower Center’s conservation efforts by threading together vegetation surveys, nocturnal footage of animals in the area, archival material from the herbarium, and fragments of conversations with Conservationist Botanist Minette Marr.
Zilker Botanical Garden
“The Surreal Garden Exhibition” — April 7 through 8 & 13 through 15
For the second consecutive year, Ion Art illuminates the Zilker Botanical Garden with “The Surreal Garden Exhibition.” The Surreal Series is an interactive art experience full of fantastical and whimsical neon sculptures created by Sharon and Greg Keshishian and the Ion Art Team. They have integrated the sculptures into the serene setting of the botanical garden, creating an enchanting neon world and a way to benefit the Garden. Dress up in surreal attire is encouraged.
“Sonic Meditation for Solo Performer Steve Parker” — April 13 through May 6
“Sonic Meditation” reimagines the college marching band as a tool for meditation. The project examines themes of healing, injury, and labor in NCAA football, drawing from legacies of sonic therapy. The installation is an ecosystem of automated sonic sculptures made from salvaged marching band instruments," and is activated by a viewer wearing an EEG headset. The device measures and transmits electrical brain activity, which is then translated in real-time to be played by the instruments.
ICOSA Collective Gallery
“Dream States” — April 14 through May 13
This exhibit presents the works of five animation artists and takes visitors on a journey to explore the pursuits of human connection and our relationships to technology and infrastructure, the natural world, and personal desires. “Dream States” includes hand drawn and painted cel animations, as well as original artwork from the films. In each piece, the filmmaker takes stock of the world as it is and responds in kind, playing with surrealism and varying tones of repetition, color, sound, and narrative storytelling.
“Expresiones de Mexico, Arte de la Gente / Art of the People” — April 14 through August 20
Following the revolution in the 1920s, Mexico’s leaders sought to define and promote Mexico’s culture and art. This campaign included looking to artists from regions all over Mexico. Mexican art, past and present, comes in a great assortment of styles, subjects, and mediums. This collection has been compiled over the course of the nearly forty years of Mexic-Arte Museum’s history and will give light to some of the key master artists in Mexico who have made this art so sought out worldwide.
Link & Pin Gallery
“Size Is Everything” — April 22 through May 27
“Size is Everything” ponders the question, what if art was all one size? Not too big and not too small. And what if you combine modern art, abstract pieces, traditional works, and whimsical art all in the same room? With that in mind, gallery owner Debra Watkins has conceptualized an exhibit that displays diverse genres of art that are visually similar — only because all the works are 20x25 and have been framed similarly so that the show will look like one body of work.
“Seeing Bees” — April 23 through May 21
Featuring the artwork of world-renowned photographer Dan Winters, Wild Spirit Wild Places presents “Seeing Bees,” an immersive art and education experience inspired by the essential role bees play in our environment. View Winter’s subjects, the bees, through large format images created using a scanning electron microscope. The exhibit hopes to raise awareness and foster appreciation for the essential role these insects play in our ecosystem.